Monday, August 12, 2013

Manga Mondays #160: Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Manga Mondays Meme

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 3 years ago. It started out as a personal feature, but I decided to turn it into a meme last year. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme is a great way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa


Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders...even to kill. Except his powers aren't unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher's Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are... (courtesy of Goodreads)


*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

It's so refreshing to start a manga series and immediately click with it. It doesn't happen often enough. Someone commented that Fullmetal Alchemist was her favorite manga series on a blog I dropped by last week, so I picked it up.

The first volume does a better job than most in setting out the basics of the series. I learned who the Elric brothers were, their troubles (one lost limbs, the other lives as a soul trapped in a metal suit), and their basic character. It's fairly bare bones, but I was grateful not to have my head spinning as I do in so many first volumes.

The plot of this volume is relatively unimportant. I don't say that as a bad thing. It functions as a vehicle to introduce us to the characters and the main story. As I said above, I learned who the Elric brothers are as well as the basics of alchemy. Through a series of capers and rescues, I also learn that the brothers (especially Edward) are trouble-makers and a bit touchy, and they also have a strong moral code. I sense a hint of Robin Hood. I particularly liked the bar/coal mine rescue. Edward proves that he not only has strength and alchemy know-how, but cunning sneakiness as well.

I can't wait to read the next volume of Fullmetal Alchemist. I think I'll like it as much as Kekkaishi, the other Shonen manga series I've read a lot of.

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  1. This is seriously my favorite manga series of all time. The world, the characters, the plot... just, guh, everything about FMA is so great. <3

  2. I've seen some episodes of the anime and many of my friends loved this series. I don't think you'll be disappointed with FMA :)

  3. I enjoyed the first volume but I didn't continue with it and decided to just watch the anime series - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood instead. One of favourite series ever. I've heard that it follows the manga closely (no filler episodes) and it's complete!

  4. I've watched some of the anime but never read the manga. May check this out eventually :).

  5. Okay, so I watched the FMA: Brotherhood, which is closely based on the manga, and IT IS AMAZING. Best thing I've seen in a while!


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